Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ivy League Roundup

**Update on Coach Wilson's Rant**

After Coach Wilson went off on Ivy League officials and some Penn assistant coaches in the post game news conference, he has now sent a letter of apology to the league and the folks at Penn. This is the Ivy League's version of a fine that NFL coaches get when they criticize refs and the league. It's not unexpected, and is not a punishment per se. Hopefully; this will all serve to further motivate this team.

Now on to the analysis of last weekend's games:

Princeton 17 Brown 3

Princeton improved to 5-0 after this Friday night battle at Princeton Stadium. Once again, the Tiger defense was the story, holding the Bears to just nine first downs, 41 yards rushing and recording four sacks. Brown QB Joe DiGiacomo had no answers, going just six-of-17 for 71 yards and two interceptions. The Bears' defense was actually matching the Tigers for most of the game but late in the third quarter, Princeton took over at the Brown 43 after a bad punt and QB Jeff Terrell moved them down the field. Princeton took a 10-3 lead on Terrell's 18-yard TD pass to Rob Toresco coming out of the backfield. Brown returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back on a penalty. Obviously, that took the wind out of their sails, but it doesn't look like the Bears would have had enough on offense to do more than keep the game tied a little longer. Princeton's offense is not extremely strong, but it has enough weapons to take advantage of what the defense gives them; which is a considerable amount. This Saturday's game at versus Harvard for the League lead should be a good one.

Harvard 24 Lafayette 7

Clifton Dawson ended his two-game sub-100 yards rushing streak with 144 yards against the Leopards on 26 carries. Harvard's defense was the real story, possibly playing their best game of the season. Lafayette scored first after an early interception gave them the ball at the Crimson 22. But Harvard slammed the door after that; holding Lafayette to just 83 yards rushing and recording six sacks. Harvard's 2005 starting QB Liam O'Hagan will be available to play this week, but he is listed as the backup to Chris Pizzotti, who has performed pretty well in emergency duty after O'Hagan was suspended for the first five games.

Cornell 38 Colgate 14

The Big Red shocked the favored Raiders at Schoelkopf as Luke Siwula ran for 145 yards on 29 carries and did not have even one run for a loss. Cornell QB Nate Ford had an excellent game as well, passing for two TD's and avoiding any interceptions. It's not clear whether this will be the turnaround game for the Big Red after a slow start, but with a very winnable game against Brown in Providence this coming Saturday, it very well could be the start of something good for Cornell.

Yale 26 Lehigh 20 (OT)

A thriller at the Bowl! Mike McLeod had a monster game, rushing for 204 yards on 40 carries. He also had two touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime. Yale QB Matt Polhemus had a great day as well, going 18-for-26 for 244 yards and no interceptions. His gutsy 20 yard pass on the first play of Yale's OT possession set up the winning score. Lehigh had their chances in this game; they settled for a field goal on a 4th and goal from the one, and they tied it with a 91-yard drive and two-point conversion. But the offense bailed them out. This may have been Yale's best game of the season, and it comes just before the Bulldogs' big showdown with Penn at home this Saturday.

Holy Cross 24 Dartmouth 21 (OT)

The Crusaders ruined Dartmouth's homecoming with an overtime victory in a back-and-forth game in Hanover. While the end of the day was marred by a post game brawl on the field, there were many positives in the loss for the Big Green. Dartmouth QB Mike Fritz proved to be quite the scrambler, running 10 times for 74 yards, including a 30-yard TD. Fritz also had a decent day throwing the ball, going 15-for-26 for 147 yards and no interceptions. The Big Green's already strong defense played well, giving up just 100 yards on the ground. As several Dartmouth players are waiting to learn if they will be punished for the fight at the end of the game, the team prepares for its annual "avoid the Ivy basement" showdown with Columbia in New York this Saturday.

Looking Ahead...

This weekend's Ivy games will feature a nice helping of perfect symmetry. All four of the 2-0 teams in the league will play each other, while the four 0-2 teams will face each other as well. This means that by the end of the day, we will be able to divide the league into four different sections; two undefeated teams, two one-loss teams, two one-win teams, and two winless teams.


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